“Low Carbon” Otarian to Open in Midtown on Thursday


Last week Otarian, the much hyped “low carbon” fast food restaurant opened on Bleeker Street and their second location is set to open tomorrow on 8th and 56th. For Midtown Lunchers who prefer greenhouse emissions meat with their lunch this place is probably a pass, but for Sarah and the other ML vegetarians we’ve rounded up some pre-opening coverage.

Checking out the menu on their site, it looks like most lunch options are in the $7+ range. And while the Tex Mex Burger might have a “lower carbon impact” than a similar Tex Mex beef burger, it also has more calories and total grams of fat than a McDonalds quarter pounder with cheese. According to one Yelper the carbon impact of menu items is more prominently displayed than the price or nutrition info, so if healthy eating is a priority, be alert about your choices.

As for the early word? Planet Green endorses Otarian’s Sweet Potato Chiplets and Tandoor Mushroom O Panner Wrap, vegan bloggers decry the inclusion of dairy on their “ignorance based” menu while Fork in the Road has a feature on the restaurant and owner, Radhika Oswal, and her sustainable restaurant mission as well as some interesting questions about the carbon footprint her own $70 million mansion in progress. I wonder how many Tex Mex Burgers you’d need to eat to off set their 17 car garage?


Otarian, 947 Eighth Avenue at 56th St, 212-489-3270


  • oh for Christ’s sake

  • I dont think people here take offense to anything.

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  • I shall never grow tired of gimmicky food shops.

  • But if you eat their burrito, then you’re obviously adding gas emissions into the atmosphere. I don’t see how you’re truly saving the planet.

    I’m not against eating vegetarian though – as long as it’s tasty and not super expensive.

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    Unless they are serving up bowls of sand, I expect that all of their food contains copious amounts of Carbon.

  • I want LOTS of carbon in my foods: plenty of carbohydrates, simple and complex saccharides, proteins made up of amino acids that all include delicious carbon, even fiber with carbon-filled cellulose etc! Heck, I even love some elemental carbon in my foods–nothing like a good char on my burger or pizza crust.

    This whole “low carbon” crap is pure BS. I refuse to patronize any place that plays off that trendy gimmick. GIVE ME CARBON, LOTS OF CARBON!!!!!!!!!!

    • BTW, “otarian” looks like “ovarian” and makes me think of female reproductive organs or cancer, neither of which is appetizing. I hope this dumb gimmick heads for a rapid FAIL.

  • I actually happened to be looking at their menu online yesterday– the ads were all over some site I read– gothamist maybe? Anyway I’m intrigued but was kind of ignoring the whole carbon gimmick (TOTAL gimmick) and just looking at the food. While a lot of it seems pretty pathetic looking, even in the fancy pictures on the company site, (like the lasagna? or the Biryani? oye) I was drawn to the Mushroom Paneer wrap. Its something veggie, and a bit different for my lunchtime, and for $7, that’s not *too* bad, but I will be PIST if its teeny tiny (which I already suspect it is) Also I will not say the “O” in the middle when ordering.

  • They obviously never considered the huge carbon footprint that will be left by their bankruptcy filing

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